[Live Blog] 2017 General Assembly: As It Is Happening

By Thanos Theofanakis

— Dear readers, welcome to our live coverage of the AUCSA Budget GA on Sunday the 26th of February. Below you will find continuous and time-stamped coverage on all events of the GA.

  • 13:22 – Lance Bosch asks the GA whether there should be a vote on whether the TEDx budget should be discussed first. After several attempts, the proposal is unanimously passed.
  • 13:24 – Lance extends a warm welcome to all February starters and invites all students to participate in the AUCSA elections. Additionally, Lance looks back on the events of last year.
  • 13:26 – The Diversity Commission is introduced by Lance and Andy O Daab. The Diversity Commission will be in charge of representing minority groups in AUC through a system of Commissioners who may choose to present a certain group.
  • 13:29 – Andy explains “why Triodos is d’shit.”
  • 13:31 – Lance explains the rules and procedures of the GA. Committees will be discussed in random order, to be decided by pulling the names out of a hat.
  • 13:33 – Anouk asks the AUCSA whether there will be a vote on the change from ING to Triodos, as stated in a previous e-mail. Lance explains that said e-mail contained a mistake, yet admits that voting would be desirable. Lance proposes the vote.
  • 13:37 – Issues are raised concerning the transfer from one bank to another. Andy answers that AUCSA’s decision to change banks was made only because the positive sides outweigh the downsides. Downsides include the lack of proper English support and the small number of offices. Lance adds that AUCSA’s aim is to facilitate the transition to ensure the next treasurer can work well with Triodos.
  • 13:39 – The vote on the transfer to Triodos is unanimously passed.
  • 13:40 – Lance further explains the rules and procedure of the GA.
  • 13:41 – Lance raises the topic of the Policy Manual, as it was “a long time comin'”.
  • 13:42 – The question is raised whether the procedure of the recommendations of the Audit Commission should be changed. As Andy explains, Lance helps himself to yet another handful of crisps.
  • 13:47 – The question is raised whether the GA should be able to make recommendations and suggestions concerning the budget.
  • 13:49 – The question is raised whether there should be a quarter-annual audit rather than a bi-annual audit. In response, the question is raised whether there is any reason to do so. Andy responds that this would facilitate the work of the AUCSA treasurer.
  • 13:52 – Motion is raised as follows: Article 19.4 of the Policy Manual should be changed to a quarter-annual audit rather than a bi-annual audit. Voting is opened by Lance.
  • 13:58 – Lance announces the motion to have passed.
  • 14:02 – A motion is raised as follows: Article 18.4 should contain that the definition of large and complex committees and the definition of financial freedom is up to the AUCSA board. Voting is opened by Lance.
  • 14:05 – Lance announces the motion to have unanimously passed.
  • 14:06 – A motion is raised as follows: Article 19.8 should also contain that the Audit Commission, in addition to the bi-annual letters of recommendations, also publishes a letter twice a year after each GA to inform the student body for the purpose of transparency. Voting is opened by Lance.
  • 14:11 – Lance announces the motion to have unanimously passed.
  • 14:12 – Lance reiterates that many phrasings in the Policy Manual are purposefully phrased vaguely to be decided at the discretion of the AUCSA board.
  • 14:13 – Sophia raises the question whether the wording of article 20 allows minorities to be allowed on the AUCSA board more easily.
  • 14:15 – The question is raised whether there should be quota at all for the assembly of the AUCSA board. Lance responds that this will be discussed at a later stage.
  • 14:20 – The question is raised whether the candidates not chosen for the AUCSA board should be highlighted
  • 14:24 – A motion is raised as follows: Article 20 par 12: The Election Commission should be afforded facilities to communicate better to the entire student body and must ensure full visibility during their proceedings. Voting is opened by Lance.
  • 14:26 – Lance announces the motion to have passed.
  • 14:27 – A question is raised regarding the voting, as it says you now need a number of votes in favour larger than against for a motion to be passed, yet this is never mentioned directly. Lance replies there is an official article now that states the rules and procedures of the GA.
  • 14:31 – Lance proposes a vote on the passing of the Policy Manual.
  • 14:31 – The vote on the Policy Manual is unanimously passed.
  • 14:32 – The AUdit Commission is introduced.
  • 14:32 – The issue of underspending by committees and overbudgeting by the AUCSA treasurer is raised by the AUdit Commission. The AUdit Commission recommends AUCSA and committees to look into ways of preventing this.
  • 14:35 – Lance urges committees to spend the money they have been budgeted.
  • 14:38 – Lance moves the GA forward to the Budget of the AUCSA.
  • 14:38 – A motion is raised to move the TEDx budget to before the AUCSA budget. The motion is unanimously passed.
  • 14:39 – Andy highlights TEDx’ request to add 700 euro to their budget to little over 2,500 euro. Andy explains this is possible due to having more income than expected. The amendment is unanimously passed.
  • 14:41 – Andy raises the topic of AUCSA’s budget. The question is raised whether unspent money at the end of the year could be put towards the AUC Scholarship Fund. Andy responds that this is difficult due to the ASF being an AUC fund.
  • 14:43 – The AUCSA budget is unanimously approved.
  • 14:44 – Andy says the realised income of AUCSA is lower than budgeted. When asked how, Andy explains that this is due to a wrong prediction of the number of members of AUCSA.
  • 14:47 – The question is raised what kind of flashlight costs 400 euro. After having to stand up straight despite “preferring being bent over”, Andy responds that this is not just a flashlight and rather equipment for a Canon camera.
  • 14:50 – The question is raised whether more money could be donated by AUCSA to the Emergency Fund, which is a community-run initiative that has the purpose to financially aid AUC students that don’t have the resources to cover an emergency expenditure. Andy’s question how much more money is suggested to be donated is answered by Sophia with “how much do you have?”
  • 14:54 – The AUCSA Other budget is unanimously approved.
  • 14:55 – TheAUCSA Merchandise budget of a net -3,147.05 euro is now being discussed.
  • 14:57 – The question is raised why less merchandise has been sold by AUCSA. Petra answers that not less merchandise has been sold, but rather more discounts have been offered, resulting in less income through merchandise. Ilen adds that the largest loss of income was the discount on the AUC sweater offered to first-year students in intro week.
  • 14:58 – The AUCSA Merchandise budget is unanimously approved.
  • 14:59 – A motion is raised to add 250.00 euro to the AUCSA budget allocated to the emergency fund. The motion is unanimously passed.
  • 15:00 – Spoon University’s unchanged budget of a net -374.00 euro budget is unanimously approved.
  • 15:01 – The unchanged AUCafe budget is unanimously approved.
  • 15:02 – Despite internal changes, PlayUC’s budget of net -1,057.00 euro is unanimously passed.
  • 15:03 – Pangea’s unchanged budget of net -375.00 euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:03 – IdeAUC’s unchanged budget of net -450.oo euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:04 – Ilen very proudly announces that he has been able to add 400.00 euro to the Acquisitions budget through fundraising at Maslow resulting in a net total of 360.00 euro. The budget is unanimously approved.
  • 15:06 – Sharood’s unchanged budget of net -250.00 euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:06 – Scriptus has changed budget from net -2,538.20 euro to net -2,372.40 euro due to a scrapping of two issues, in order to compensate for a lower than anticipated income. The question is asked by Josh what the costs would be to reverse this decision. Editor-in-chief Laura answers that Scriptus did not make this decision for budgetary reasons exclusively, but also for organisational purposes.
  • 15:13 – Scriptus’ new budget is unanimously approved.
  • 15:14 – The Art Committee has adjusted their income from 2,250 euro to 1,1740 euro, resulting in the net total being changed from -810.50 euro to -1,320.50 euro. The motion is raised to add 300.00 euros to The Art Committee’s budget for Scopophilia. When asked by Lance to elaborate on this request, reasons such as work hours, gas and electricity are mentioned.
  • 15:21 – Jasmijn raises the question why this motion is raised only during the GA and hasn’t been sent in beforehand. The Art Committee apologises for not being able to answer the question at the time, as their treasurer is not currently present at the GA.
  • 15:22 – The motion has been amended to allocate 100 euro to rent, personnel and unforeseen costs.
  • 15:22 – The question is raised why amendments such as the one suggested need to be made by The Art Committee. In response, The Art Committee states that in order to not over budget, The Art Committee tries to budget as precisely as possible. This results in necessary amendments such as the one requested at this GA.
  • 15:25 – Lance initiates the voting procedure for The Art Committee’s motion and budget.
  • 15:26 – The motion and budget are passed with a majority of votes.
  • 15:28 – CUT presents their unchanged budget of a net -560.00 euro. A motion is raised to allocate 90.00 euro more to their budget to facilitate 9 Creative Sessions organised by the committee. The question is raised how many participants are expected to attend these sessions. CUT answers that the first session already has 15-20 participants, with more attendants expected in the future. The motion and the budget are unanimously passed.
  • 15:32 – ZEN added 300.00 euro to their expected income due to a planned trip to France. While Andy expresses his hope of a united France and Germany, ZEN’s budget of a net -298.70 euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:34 – Cuisine’s budget of net -195.00 euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:36 – Dormfest has adjusted their budget from net -7,000.00 to net -8,000.00 to prevent last year’s underbudgeting. Andy comments on Dormfest’s currently unstructured budget and states that the precise budget has not yet been presented to the GA because it has been presented to AUCSA only this morning. A motion to postpone the voting on Dormfest’s budget passes unanimously.
  • 15:39 – OnStage’s unchanged budget of net -1,336.00 euro is unanimously approved.
  • 15:40 – Lance announces a 15-minute break, during which tickets to TEDx’ event will be distributed at random to four attendants of the GA.
  • 15:57 – Lance starts the raffle for the TEDx tickets. The lucky winners are being announced now.
  • 16:00 – The Dormfest budget is being discussed now that more exact numbers have been presented by the committee.
  • 16:04 – The Dormfest budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:05 – Solace has made changes to both income and expenditure, resulting in their original net of -2,28.75 euro being changed to -220.66 euro. While Lance excitedly thanks the AUC student body for turning up at the Solace parties, the Solace budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:08 – While Lance shows us some of his best moves, AIMUN’s new budget of net -2,205.00 euro as compared to their original net -2,640.00 due to reallocations and extra contributions by AUCSA has been unanimously approved.
  • 16:10 – Various questions into the nature of AIMUN’s different allocations have been raised. AIMUN has stated that large parts of their budget go to lunch, coffee and snacks. In addition, materials such as post-its and certificates add to the costs. AIMUN also specified that allocations have been made within their budget to allow for lower participation fees.
  • 16:20 – A vote to add 500 euro to the AIMUN budget has been called for by Lance.
  • 16:22 – With a majority of votes, the motion passes.
  • 16:22 – Curiousity’s unchanged budget of net -150.00 euro has been unanimously approved.
  • 16:23 – After some shameless advertisement of the UCSRN tournament and SlayUC by Lance, Yearbook’s unchanged budget of net -326.95 euro has unanimously passed.
  • 16:25 – PubQuiz’ unchanged budget of net -284.00 euro has been unanimously approved.
  • 16:25 – After a resurrection that puts Captain Jack Sparrow’s to shame, Debating presents their budget of net -173.00 euro. Gerold asks Debating how they managed to generate income so quickly, to which Debating answers they didn’t know they could request a budget from the AUCSA and organised a bakesale. After the whole GA applauds their efforts, their budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:29 – After being introduced with a Trump joke, Hands On’s unchanged budget of net -535.00 euro has been unanimously approved.
  • 16:30 -Dormsessions’ new budget of net -3,499.29 euro rather than -2,435.00 is discussed by the GA. After some amendments have been made, the new budget is now net -2,905.00 euro. The new budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:33 – Catch presents their new budget of net -4,932.00 euro as opposed to the original budget of net -4,232.00 euro. After some small amendments have been made, the budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:37 – Jeugdlab’s income decreased slightly resulting in a net -31.94 euro budget as opposed to the original net 18.06 euro. The budget is unanimously approved.
  • 16:39 – AUC Webradio more than doubled their income resulting in a budget change from net -653.87 euro to net 696.13 euro. A motion is raised to add 10.00 euro to AUC Webradio’s budget to host a DJ event, which unanimously passes. The budget itself is also unanimously approved.
  • 16:43 – Last but not least, AUC’s most colourful board, Junket, starring a banana, a dragon and a leopard, presents their adjusted budget of net -2,149.00 euro as opposed to net -2,118.00 euro. A motion is raised to allocate 112.00 euro in order to reduce the participation fee for the skating event for R2E buddies by 50%. The motion is unanimously passed. The budget itself has been unanimously approved as well.
  • 16:47 – After all individual committees have had their budgets approved, there will now be a vote to approve the total AUCSA budget, which has changed from net -12,426.02 euro in October to net 8,091.98 euro. With one vote against and three proud abstentions, the AUCSA budget has officially been approved.
  • 16:50 – Now that all budgets have been approved, the GA now moves on to the AOB: Any Other Business. Previously raised but not yet discussed issues, such as the official voting procedures, are now being debated. A small amendment has been suggested to better reflect the current order of business during the voting procedure in the GA, changing “majority” to “plurality” in article 4.3c. The motion is unanimously passed.
  • 16:54 – A new motion is raised to alter the phrasing of article 4.3d to better reflect the current order of business during the voting procedure in the GA. Lance proposes to send out an e-mail to inform the student body about the actual definition of the current phrasing without actually changing the phrasing. The motion is unanimously passed.
  • 16:57 – The question is raised whether to include phrasing in article 20.8 to have the elections commission encourage people to run for the elections. A discussion ensues regarding the necessity of including a gender quota. A motion is raised to scratch the last part of 20.8 in order to better reflect that members of the AUCSA board should be elected on qualifications rather than gender, and a second motion to completely drop the gender quota. The former motion is unanimously passed, whereas the second motion passes with a slight majority of votes.
  • 17:12 – The discussion on implementing quotas for gender and background continues.
  • 17:19 – A motion is raised to include phrasing to ensure that a proposed board is not comprised of a single gender. With a slight majority of votes, the motion passes.
  • 17:25 – The AUCSA is commended for taking action to update the Policy Manual.
  • 17:27 – The Budget GA is now closed. Thank you for following the live feed! Have a nice evening.
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